5-yr project aims to increase milk, meat production
Author / Source : BSS
DHAKA, Oct 23: The government has initiated a project to increase meat and milk productions in the country by developing crossbreed buffalo in suitable areas including the coastal belt. The five-year programme is designed to develop a new type of buffalo population, which will be an outcome of cross between superior breed and native buffalo.
With implementation of the programme, the Department of Livestock Services (DLS), is expecting significant increase in both milk and meat production.
According to DLS officials, the project would help increase the annul milk production to 2.33 lakh tonnes from current 1.80 lakh tonnes. The meat production would subsequently increase to 26,000 tonnes from 18,000.
The current annul milk production is around 2.5 million tonnes, of which 98 per cent comes from cows. The annual demand is around 12.5 million tonnes, leaving a huge amount to be met every year from import, official sources said.
The officials said the country’s buffalo population, mostly in the costal belt and low-laying areas, is considered as the second largest source of milk and meat after cattle. According to DLS, there are 1.26 million buffalo heads in the country.
The officials said that the native buffalo produces only 600- 1000 litters milk in a lactation period of 275 days whereas the new breed would give 1500 to 2000 litters for the same period.
Describing the development process, project director Dr Manzur Kader at the DLS said initially the native buffalo would be crossed with the high-yielding Indian buffalo breed Murrah to improve the genetic potential of the native ones.
He said 10 Murrah bulls and 40 thousand doses semen of Murrah breed would be imported from India and Pakistan for this purpose.
The Bangladesh Livestock Research Institute (BLRI) is working with the DLS to implement the Taka 34-crore project by 2014.
Director General of the BLRI Dr Shahidul Haq told the BSS that breeding, feeding and disease diagnostic techniques would be developed and disseminated to about 2,340 rural farmers through forming farmers’ community in 117 villages of 39 upazilas of the districts to make the project effective.
He said the project would also help create employment opportunities of 2,340 unemployed farmers besides the increase in milk and meat production. Initially, the program will be implemented in 14 different districts including Dhaka Sirajgong, Rangpur, Jamalpur, Tangail, Mymensingh, Feni, Noakhali, Laxmipur, Chittagong, Mowlavi Bazar, Patuakhali, Bhola and Bagerhat. The districts are chosen on basis of their favourable geographic condition for buffaloes.